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One in 20 deaths in England and Wales now involve Covid-19, figures show

By Ian Jones, PA

One in 20 deaths registered in the most recent week in England and Wales mentioned coronavirus on the death certificate, the highest proportion for more than four months, new figures show.

A total of 10,187 deaths were registered in the week ending August 6, of which 527 (5.2%) involved Covid-19.

This is the highest percentage of deaths to involve coronavirus since the week to March 26, according to the Office for National Statistics (ONS).

The number of Covid-19 deaths is up 30% week on week, and also stands at its highest level since the week to March 26.

The figures show the impact of the third wave of Covid-19, which began in the UK in May and led to a sharp increase in the number of new cases of coronavirus as well as a smaller rise in hospital patients.

While the number of deaths in the latest week is the highest for over four months, it is still well below the level seen at the peak of the second wave.

Some 8,433 deaths involving Covid-19 were registered in England and Wales in the week to January 29.

The relatively low number of deaths in the third wave so far, when compared with the second wave of the virus, reflects the success of the rollout of coronavirus vaccines across the country.

Vaccinations in England are now estimated to have prevented between 81,300 and 87,800 deaths, according to Public Health England.

The latest ONS figures also show that the total number of deaths registered in England and Wales in the week to August 6 was 12.7% above the pre-pandemic five-year average.

The total has not been this far above the average since the week to February 19.

The number of extra deaths, or “excess deaths”, that have taken place in private homes since the start of the pandemic now stands at 66,000, according to analysis by the PA news agency.

Of this number, just 8,000, or 12%, were deaths that involved Covid-19.

The figures show that there are still many more people than normal who are dying in their own homes.

Deaths in private homes have been consistently well above the 2015-19 average since April 2020.

Even during the summer and early autumn of 2020, when few lockdown restrictions were in place across the country, excess deaths in private homes remained above average by between 700 and 900 a week.

Overall, 156,307 deaths have now occurred in the UK where Covid-19 was mentioned on the death certificate, the ONS said.

The highest number of deaths to occur on a single day was 1,484 on January 19.

During the first wave of the virus, the daily toll peaked at 1,461 deaths on April 8 2020.

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